UAAP: Three Green Archers with double-doubles in dominant 100-69 win over the Growling Tigers, sweep Elimination Round series

Entering the second round of the UAAP Men’s Basketball tournament in fourth place, the DLSU Green Archers added to their victory tally after dominating the UST Growling Tigers in their final meeting of the elimination round earlier today, October 25, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Earning the Player of the Game honors was Jonnel Policarpio who stood his ground as the starting power forward for La Salle, recording a double-double performance with 14 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, one steal, and a block. After leading the league in statistical points in the first round, Kevin Quiambao also tallied another double-double with 22 points on four three-pointers and 12 rebounds with six assists, five steals, and a block. Evan Nelle contributed a double-double of his own with 11 points and 10 assists, while Raven Cortez had 13 points, five rebounds, and a game-high three blocks.

In the losing effort, Nic Cabañero had an all-around game for UST with 13 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Christian Manaytay complemented this, adding his own 10 points and four boards for the España-based team.

Strong opening

From the tip-off, the Green Archers made a dominant statement with a fast-paced offense that was focused on inside-out scoring and shooting early in the shot clock. The Growling Tigers showed the same tenacity, running and gunning on the other end to match La Salle. Halfway through the opening quarter, there were already six lead changes, cutting off the back-and-forth run with Policarpio’s crucial and-one play, 11-9.

Following this, DLSU’s defense shined even more as UST switched up their strategy, going from a run-and-gun offense to a steadier one—taking their time before putting up shots. However, in just a span of 1:23 minutes, the Green and White went on a massive 10-2 run, courtesy of Nelle’s playmaking ability, 21-11. By the end of the quarter, the España-based team was able to create opportunities by drawing fouls. Despite this, La Salle maintained their advantage for a strong start to what was to come, 29-21.

Maintaining advantage

As the buzzer began in the second quarter, the Green Archers answered every Growling Tigers attempt at a comeback. UST would score on one end, then DLSU would immediately inbound the ball for an outlet pass, leading to an open layup, 34-25. After team captain Ben Phillips gave the Green and White a quick boost, the Taft-based squad led by a wide margin, 40-25, forcing a UST timeout.

Coming out of the huddle, the squad from España showed life, going for a 9-0 comeback run to cut the deficit to just six with 2:35 left in the half, 40-34. Kenji Duremdes fueled this scoring streak, making his presence felt by scoring five straight points for UST. Adding salt to the wound, La Salle struggled to get rebounds and settled for contested shots until Cortez and JC Macalalag brought the Green Archers back in the game, 47-36.

Quiambao capped off the first half for DLSU with a corner triple, heading to the locker room with La Salle holding a double-digit lead, 52-38. The forward did it all for his team, already with 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and a steal.

Hungry for more

Despite having a huge lead heading into the halftime break, the team from Taft showed the same energy, grabbing a ton of offensive rebounds with Quiambao converting with a corner three to build a huge 17-point lead for the Green Archers, 55-38. The Growling Tigers showed zone defense to stifle the offense of the Green Archers, but it did not work out as Cortez scored easily with a floater in the lane and a base-line jumper coming from EJ Gollena, 60-41. 

La Salle converted defensive stops to easy baskets, which gave way for Policarpio to score an easy layup in transition that gave the Green Archers a massive 24-point lead, 71-47. The bench mob of the Green Archers maintained the intensity of the game, as Policarpio scored two more baskets for the team inside the paint as La Salle held a 26-point gap going into the fourth quarter, 75-49.

Finishing touches

The defense and offense of La Salle looked sharp to open the final quarter of the game. The ball movement of the team was gallant, leaving Joshua David and Gollena open, who each converted a three-pointer, 85-56. Quiambao stopped a 9-0 run of UST with a top-of-the-key three for La Salle, 90-65, and the lead of the Green and White was restored as the veterans of the team took control. Nelle and Quiambao drilled more three-pointers to extend the massive 29-point advantage, 98-69. Macalalag scored the last basket for the Green and White with a lay-up in traffic—capping off the game, 100-69.

After the game, Head Coach Topex Robinson shared his thoughts on his team’s stellar performance to begin Round Two: “The first round gave us a back view of where we were as a team… What’s good about this coming into the second round is we were able to look at where we could improve on.” Robinson also mentioned their outlook on the Final Four race, stating, “We know the standings are close and every game will matter. We have to make sure [that] we set the tone right off the bat.”

Meanwhile, Player of the Game Policarpio gave props to his head coach following his eye-opening performance, “Binibigay ko ‘yung best ko and always ready lang ako kung kailan ako ipasok ni Coach Topex. Malaki ‘yung tiwala ko kay Coach Topex.”

(I always give my best and I’m always ready for whenever Coach Topex wants to put me in the game. I have full trust in Coach Topex.)

The DLSU Green Archers look to continue their winning momentum in the second round and to avenge their first-round loss against the second-ranked NU Bulldogs this Saturday, October 28, at 4 pm at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores:

DLSU 100 – Quiambao 22, Policarpio 14, Cortez 13, Nelle 11, Gollena 9, Escandor 6, Macalalag 5, Nwankwo 4, B. Phillips 4, Nonoy 3, David 3, Abadam 3, Austria 2, Manuel 0, I. Phillips 0

UST 69 – Cabañero 13, Manaytay 10, Moore 9, Duremdes 8, Crisostomo 7, Laure 6, Lazarte 5, Llemit 4, Manalang 4, Ventulan 2, Gesalem 1, Esmena 0, Calum 0, Magdangal 0, Pangilinan 0

Quarter Scores: 29-21, 52-38, 75-49, 100-69

Gab Ortiz

By Gab Ortiz

Raphael Serrano

By Raphael Serrano

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